Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

The screen says f 21

The screen says f21

Posted by on

  • 1 more comment 
  • deanna_herbe Jan 30, 2009

    what do i do

  • deanna_herbe Jan 30, 2009

    how do i fix this?????

  • svaerewyck Feb 24, 2009

    I followed these instructions but it did not work. It started up at first but soon went back to F21 error. I do not have anything cloging it that I can see or that has washed out. What is the next step?



1 Answer

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 20 times.


    An expert who has written 20 answers of more than 400 characters.

  • Expert
  • 140 Answers

F21 error means the drain pump is not working correct. This is normally from hair, change, sock or something clogging the pump.

Here is one guy account on how to repair it. Enjoy.

When my F21 showed up, the washer would not do anything. It would turn on, two relays clicked, it would then HUM. I am guessing that this washer is SMART. It will test if the washer water exit pump will indeed pump. The machine figures, if it can't pump water out, there is no use in filling and starting up in the first place, so it plays DEAD and flashes the F21 code. If it will not pump, then it will not spin or do anything. If the pump will not spin, then the machine will NOT start the cycle and allow water to come on or spin. It will just HUM and finally, it will flash the F21 and the machine will just sit there. Unplugging it and plugging it back in will not help. Why does the pump not spin? As others have noted, it is probably impacted with debris. Ours had a huge hairball in it from washing a piece of carpet MONTHS ago.

Objective: Clear pump of debris. Tilt machine. Take off front panel. Unscrew large white drain plug. Remove debris.

First, unplug the machine and turn off the water supplies on the hot and cold.

Here is how I pulled out the hairball. The machine is full of water. The objective is to not mess with the water. So, pull the whole machine forward about 3 to 4 feet. Then, tilt the machine back, so that the top of the machine is hitting the wall and the machine is now at a 45 degree angle. This raises the front bottom of the machine where you can get to it. Have an assistant hold the machine there, even though it will balance perfectly, it can fall on you. You are leaning it back to gain access to (3) quarter inch screws holding on the front cover at the very bottom of the front cover and you avoid taking the machine out of the plastic pan.

Once the machine is tilted back, take out the 3 metal pan head self taping screws with a 1/4 inch socket. The front bottom panel will come right down. On the right is a large knob on one side of the pump about 1.5 to 2" in diameter. Turn this Counter clock wise slowly as you are moving an O ring which seals it. About three or four turns and it comes out. Remove all the junk in there - pennies, hair, wool.
Now, put the cover back on. Note - it is keyed. Match the ridge on the plug with the slot on the receiver. Now, push it in gently while turning clockwise. Be careful to push it in firmly but not harshly as there is an "O" ring sealing it against leaks and you don't want to nick the O ring. Put the front cover back on by first putting the top of the cover into the slots with the pins protruding from the front cover on the the receiving holes on the machine below the round door and then securing the bottom of the front access door with the three self taping screws with the 1/4 inch socket. No not over tighten. Just make them snug.

Let the machine down gently, realize it can slam down on your foot.

Push it back to where it was, use the dryer as an example.
Plug the machine back in. Turn on the water supplies for hot and cold.

Now, put the machine back onto the wash cycle. Press power and start. It will first drain out the old water. Now, add the HE detergent and your load will finish as normal.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009


1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Error code F-21

F21 relates to a motor or control board fault.

Sep 27, 2016 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

Hi Washing machine BOSCH Maxx 7. Displays error F 21. What's wrong - and what can we do ? sincerely,Jette

The F21 error code indicates that you have a problem with the washing machine's motor.
Have it checked out by competent electrician.

Feb 22, 2015 | Bosch Washing Machines

1 Answer

F-21 on a Bosch 1400s- what does this mean

F21 Motor fault. Call customer service. (NOTE: if the motor brushes are worn, these can be replaced by a competent person).

May 20, 2012 | Washing Machines

1 Answer

F-21 comes up on screen

F21 is an error when the machine takes too long to drain. Usually caused by a blocked empty pump filter. A full set of error codes and troubleshooting actions can be found at:

This will give you more information

Jun 23, 2011 | Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

1 Answer

I have a kenmore HE-21 front load washer. I am getting an error code F 21?

It usually indicates a clogged drain filter or pump. Here is a link that should help F21 Fault Code Repair

Dec 28, 2010 | Kenmore HE2 Plus Front Load Washer

2 Answers

F21 code flashes

Lets see what an F-21 is shall we? F21 Long drain Possible cause: Clogged filter, clogged/failed pump, suds detected by control.3a5b94a.jpgb4a897e.jpg55f108d.jpg

Jun 19, 2010 | Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

2 Answers

F-21 on screen

Check for the drain hoses(both sides of the pump) and check for a blockage,then check the pump for blockage,there should be 4 impellers on this pump and they can get broken off by coins and debris. This solution will fix your problem.

Apr 09, 2010 | Kenmore HE2 Plus Front Load Washer

1 Answer

Kenmore he2t error code 21

F21 is a long is taking too long to have a something slowing down the drain.. you can remove the bottom panel and clean out coin trap... if there is nothing then you may have another problem... but this is the most common problem..

Sep 23, 2009 | Kenmore Washing Machines

Not finding what you are looking for?
Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer Logo

91 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Kenmore Washing Machines Experts

Sal De

Level 3 Expert

2699 Answers


Level 3 Expert

5687 Answers

Jim Goldsmith
Jim Goldsmith

Level 3 Expert

2005 Answers

Are you a Kenmore Washing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides